SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Several companies, including ATT & T and Nestlé, are attracting YouTube ads for concern over inappropriate comments on children's videos.
A video from a popular YouTube creator and a report by Wired showed that pedophiles made unsightly comments about harmless videos of children. The comments reportedly included timestamps that showed where children showed innocently exposed body parts.
YouTube has commented on tens of millions of videos and deleted malicious accounts and channels.
Epic Games, makers of Nestlé and Fortnite, say they have paused on YouTube while the company is working on the problem. ATT & T says it has removed ads until YouTube can "protect our brand from offensive content of any kind."
YouTube has responded to advertisers' boycott in the past, including a widespread boycott in early 2017. Since then, YouTube has sought to be more transparent about how it deals with offensive comments and videos on its website.
However, the most recent flap shows how much persistent problem offensive content will continue to be, said eMarketer video analyst Paul Verna.
"If you think about the scope of this platform and what they have in front of them, it really is like a whiskey-mole game to try to prevent these problems," he said.
Due to the broad reach of YouTube, the parent company of YouTube, brands are unlikely to stay away from YouTube for long, he said.
Digital advertising spending in the US is expected to rise 19 percent to $ 129.34 billion in 2019, or 54 percent of total estimated US advertising spend, eMarketer said. Google and Facebook make up almost 60 percent of it.
"At the end of the day, there is a duopoly of Google and Facebook," he said for digital advertising. "Any brand that does not play the game may leave a great marketing opportunity on the table."